Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's the end of the world as we know it! (ok, just 2014)

It's the end of 2014, and time for a new year. We've had some ups and downs this year, and I'm ready for it to be over. However, if the last month or two hadn't happened, I'd probably be starting the new year out like it was any old day, instead of a great time to make a fresh start.

The new medication is fabulous - although Hubs and I have been wondering if it's not actually helping, but sending me into a manic episode instead. It's very hard for me to be upset about this, because when I'm manic, things around the house get done, I spend more time hanging out with friends, I watch less tv, I cook more, and some other less appropriate things to discuss :) But Hubs knows when a manic episode goes from being helpful to dangerous, so he is watching me very closely. The first time I seem a little bit too impulsive, angry, violent, or way out of the ordinary, he'll let me know, and I'll call the doc. But it was nice to hear when he said "Welcome Back". I haven't been this happy and felt this good in a really long while, and I don't want it to end. My bestie came over last weekend and we got almost the entire house cleaned. For those of my friends who have been to my house, you'd be shocked. Like, you've only seen this happen a couple of times in the past decade.

In the past I've tried to downsize my kitchen supplies, because I've got the equipment, plates, cups and bowls to feed a friggin' army. But that always caused problems for me, because if I had clean dishes, I wouldn't wash the old ones. So I made a drastic decision and trashed literally every piece of plastic from my kitchen. No more tupperware, crappy cups, etc. I have been wanting to convert to glass for over a year because it's healthier, and my sister's gift of mason jars really helped. I still have my pots and pans because I just can't part with them, but the serious reduction in plastic has been a huge relief already.

The relationship between Hubs and I has blossomed in ways I never thought posible, because of a personal decision we made to do something really unusual per today's relationship expectations. It'll be a little while before I'm willing to openly discuss our changes, but one day I just might feel like admitting to it haha.

So what revelations did I have in 2014 that will totally change 2015?

- I'm vegetarian, headed for vegan. I realized that I love all animals, and hate knowing that I'm eating an animal that didn't deserve/need to die or be tortured to satisfy my hunger. There are plenty of plants, seeds and nuts that provide everything I need without hurting animals at all. And along with this change has come more of an understanding of my body. I'm learning how my body reacts to different substances, and it's making my decision to change my life even easier. I keep getting told or asked the same things - "That's so hard! How do you make sure you get protein? Are you eating enough? How can you eat so restrictively?" This isn't a restriction. If anything, it allows me to break
free from the expectations that I need a big portion of meat to feed me. I've been vegetarian for almost 3 months now, and I haven't felt upset or hungry because I'm not eating meat. In fact, I actually love this change. And it's cheaper on my pocketbook!

- I do not need an arbitrary date to change my life. Thanks to Leann at Healthful Pursuit, I am learning that every second is an opportunity for change. I don't need to get mad at myself for eating bad. I just forget about it and move on. I don't have to just give up and start another day. It's the simplest thing I've ever learned, and I wish that I had incorporated it years ago. But - no regrets - change starts right this second :)

- It's totally okay to be different. I'm not normal. My husband isn't normal. My friends aren't normal. Who cares? Not me! I love the way I am and the people in my life, and I won't let anyone try to make me feel bad because my life doesn't agree with them.

- The desire and willingness to change my life has to come from within. I can't do it for anyone else. I want to change for myself. I want to feel healthier, be happier with the way I look, and love life.

- I love myself - no matter what. I'm awesome just the way I am. I might have some things I want to change, but that doesn't mean I don't love myself right now. And more than ever, some of the changes I have made in my relationship with Hubs have solidified this new self-love.

I'm looking forward to the next year. Are you?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I forgot new meds could mess with my sleep.....

After last night's dream, I felt it was time for a med update. I've been on the effexor for a week. I've noticed that I have more drive to do some things, and less in others. Since the weather has been horrid for the past few days, I've been in the wheelchair again, and lying in bed when at home. In bed, I'm depressed because I don't want to watch tv. I used to love tv, and I ended up taking a 4 hour nap last night instead. Hubs has been spending a lot of time at his friend's because they like to play video games that I don't. I miss him, because he's always gone most of the night, so I'm watching tv by myself. I can't get mad at him because I totally understand his frustration, but I can't help the way I feel when he's gone.

But other than sadness when at home, I'm doing fairly well. The dreams, however, have been unusual. I don't often remember dreams, but this week I have. They've been vivid, some happy, some bad. Last night's was by far the most interesting.

I decided to open a vegan restaurant called Garden on Market Street. It was a cute little place, not too big, with about 12 tables. We had a little stage in the corner for live music. A wall covered in chalkboard paint so that people could decorate the walls themselves - a way to advertise local artists without actually having to pay for art. Our first customer was a food critic with Zagat. He was pretty satisfied with the meal and we got a B rating. I was stoked. We had a few more customers, and as I was about to lock up, I saw the Obamas walking down the street, looking intently at my restaurant. I may not be a fan, but with the first lady's dedication to getting our country to eat better, I was not going to miss the opportunity for national recognition. The girls were quite happy to draw all over the wall and the family was satisfied with their meal. I managed to resist the temptation to take pictures of them while they weren't paying attention. But I did manage to build up the courage to ask them for a picture to put on our wall - because who wouldn't want to advertise that one of the most powerful families in the country decided that they wanted to visit my restaurant?

The next day I had to run to the store to pick up more produce - our menu changed based on what was in season. My mom and grandfather went with me. I didn't realize until later that evening, when my sous chef, Data from the Enterprise, stated cooking meat that my grandfather decided to buy meat and stick it in our fridge. Obviously that goes against everything a vegan restaurant stood for, so I was upset. Even worse, I didn't notice until after the dish had gone out to Gordon Ramsay!?!?! This guy could make our break my restaurant career, and we served him meat. I welcomed him into the kitchen to explain what happened. He ended up staying the rest of the night to help me keep things going well. It appeared he genuinely wanted to help this restaurant succeed. By the end of the night, we had full house turnover at least twice. Besides the meat fiasco, everyone was very happy. Some of the last customers were an older gentleman and a tattoo artist. As a tip, the older gentleman told me that he'd pay for any tattoo I wanted. I couldn't help but be excited, and planned on getting a tattoo thta incorporated veggies and the restaurant name. I never actually saw the tattoo before I woke up.

Day 3 was a Friday. I went shopping again that morning, and ya know, I love produce shopping. Gordon Ramsay joined me, as did my mom and grandfather. We talked about all the different produce options, the veggies I've never tried, and the new recipes we would experiment with that evening. It was the first day that we planned on staying open really late - because I figured there was a niche for vegan stoners, and they needed awesome food too. I had hired a guy I saw from Top Chef - not one of my favorite chefs, actually, so I'm not sure why he was in my dream - Steven Asprinio. He was hired to make sure that my restaurant looked as great as it could, while still being family friendly. He saw this as the time to teach children. A corner of the restaurant almost turned into a classroom, and that just sat weird with me. He didn't last long, as Gordon Ramsay agreed that the "classroom-ish" design was a little odd. As the night went on and I was in the kitchen, going crazy trying to keep everything on track, Scott Conant and his wife came in. I told them that I would love to make them a completely custom meal, one that no one else was eating. They agreed, and I put Data on the job. Oops. Apparently there was fish in the fridge as well, and Data decided that frying it in the tempura batter I was using for the fried squash. At least this time I caught it before it went out! Scott Conant is a restaurateur and I could use his backing as well as Gordon's.  Do you know how much oil it takes to fill a deep fryer? I hated trashing everything, but I didn't have a choice. I couldn't let the reputation of my restaurant go to hell because Data was being too logical. But things ended up being fine, and the night ended up profitable and fun!

I left out a lot of little details, like conversations with customers and the like. But I think you get the point. I just hope that I continue to have more good dreams than bad - the bad dreams mess with my sleep and I wake up exhausted!

On an unrelated note - I was doing some work implementing a new PDF creation process when I ran into some problems. I emailed the support department and they told me that what I wanted wasn't supported. That's ridiculous, because I was trying to do some really simple things. Thanks to the guys, I was able to come up with my own way to handle the issue and make things work. I emailed support back and told them if they ever decided they wanted to implement something similar, I was available for contract hire hahaha. I love it when I come up with something that the creators or the program don't know how to do. It makes me feel smarter than them - I don't know if that's a good thing or me just being cocky. Who cares, as long as I get the job done?